Pope: The power of the Kingdom of God is love

The extensive ruins include a cathedral, castle, round tower, numerous churches, two important high crosses, and a large collection of early Christian grave slabs the last two on display in the excellent site museum. Ciaran, the son of a master craftsman. The settlement soon became a major center of religion, learning, trade, craftsmanship and politics, thanks in large part to its position at the major crossroads of the River Shannon flowing north-south and the gravel ridges of the glacial eskers running east-west. The settlement was also situated between the two provinces of Meath and Connacht, and benefited from the patronage of powerful provincial kings. Clonmacnoise was originally associated with Connacht, but from the 9th to 11th centuries allied itself with Meath. In the late 11th and 12th centuries, allegiance reverted once again to Connacht. Religion was the central focus at Clonmacnoise, but it always had a large lay population and thus looked more like a town than a monastery. The earliest churches at Clonmacnoise were also made of wood, but from the 10th century onward they were built of stone. Like nearly all monastic settlements in Ireland, Clonmacnoise was plundered on several occasions by invaders, including the Vikings and Anglo-Normans. It then fell into decline from the 13th century onwards until it was destroyed in by the English garrison from nearby Athlone.

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By any measure, Ireland is a profoundly Catholic country and culture. Weekly mass attendance continues at nearly 90 percent of the population, and the influence of the clergy on all social as well as narrowly religious questions is enormous. Ireland, alone with Malta in Europe, has no legal divorce, and abortion—never legal—has recently been made unconstitutional. The central tenets of the Catholic church are mainly accepted, but various local heterodox usages continue in some areas.

Notably, holy well cults are still an important aspect of local practice. There are more than three thousand holy wells listed for Ireland, most of them associated with a Roman Catholic saint and with beliefs about curing, indulgences, honor, prayer, etc.

The National Library of Ireland has digitized their entire collection of Irish Catholic parish registers dating from and made the digitized images available online for free. The collection includes registers converted to approximately , digital images.

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And they besought that they might behold the face of Christ. And the saint said to them: Patrick entered on the special work of the conversion of Ulster. Under the following year, the ancient annalists relate a wonderful spread of the Faith throughout the province. In a site for a church was granted at Armagh by Daire, the chieftain of the district.

It was in a valley at the foot of a hill, but the saint was not content. He had special designs in his heart for that district, and at length the chieftain told him to select in his territory any site he would deem most suitable for his religious purpose.

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This trend is depicted by the following graph [see Appendix A for figures and source]: A number of observations can be made from these figures concerning the Protestant population in the Irish Republic: The relative Protestant population was more or less constant in the period to The relative Protestant population has been declining at a more or less constant rate since

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The ages of the dead ranged from 35 foetal weeks to three years old and were mostly buried in the s. A mass grave containing the remains of babies and young children has been discovered at the former Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, County Galway. Pictured today, the covered over field Excavations found ‘significant quantities of human remains’ in an underground structure divided into 20 chambers.

The children’s ages ranged from 35 foetal weeks to three years old Pictured, the field in , before excavations began. Workmen are seen surveying the ground In a statement today, the Mother and Baby Homes Commission said ‘significant quantities of human remains have been discovered in at least 17 of the 20 underground chambers which were examined earlier this year’.

The inquiry was launched after local historian Catherine Corless said there was evidence of an unmarked graveyard at the home, where records showed almost children died between and However, there was a burial record for just one child. Pictured, a plaque erected in memory of the adults and children buried on the site In the mid s, local boys playing in the field had reported seeing a pile of bones in a hidden underground chamber there. Pictured, the home when it housed women and children The find also dispels a popular argument that bones seen at the site might predate the orphanage’s opening, when the building was a workhouse for the adult poor.

Pictured, a group of children at the home in The Mother and Baby Homes commission is investigating 17 other church-run institutions. Others have claimed that the pile of bones found dated back to the Great Famine in the 19th century In the mid s, local boys playing in the field had reported seeing a pile of bones in a hidden underground chamber.

Today’s announcement dispels a popular argument that bones seen at the site might predate the orphanage’s opening, when the building was a workhouse for the adult poor. Some have even claimed that they were from people who died in the mid th century Great Famine.

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